When life gives you lemons…clearly, you make lemonade. Or, at least in my case, I did. A friend of mine out here in sunny California has a lemon tree that is full of giant lemons, some as big, or bigger than your hand. The climate is perfect for growing, and as her tree was bursting at the seams, I picked a ton. They remind me of the lemons on the Amalfi Coast with a thick skin and intense perfume. Scratching the rind and inhaling the sweet scent of summer is like nothing else. Trust me when I tell you lemons in the grocery store do not smell like this. It is a scent that when I close my eyes it temporarily transports me away to sun-kissed hillsides overlooking the sea.

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I started thinking about the phrase “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” while I was making ‘said’ lemonade and realized how that phrase couldn’t be more appropriate in 2020. What a year it’s been for so many. I moved out to California, took a couple months off and planned to start my new, exciting life, only for the world to go into lockdown. It’s been a strange time to say the least. I, like so many people, are feeling the feels that this year has brought. I’m sure we have all experienced anxiety, fear, helplessness, sadness, hope, surrender, annoyance, restlessness and more dealing with a world that feels so uncertain. It’s been quite the “lemon” for sure.
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But, in times of “sourness” we have to remember the little things that bring us happiness, optimism and joy. For me, it’s been my early morning walks and bike rides by the beach. I watch the world slowly wake up, the birds take flight and the ocean waves crashing to and fro…a meditation of its own. Sometimes a friendly good morning or a shared smile with a stranger is all you need to know we are all in this together. Nature is my sanctuary and I often reflect upon how grateful I am to be in a place where I’m surrounded by both the mountains and the sea.
I won’t include a recipe for lemonade here as it’s pretty simple. Fresh lemons, cold water and some sort of sweetener (I used agave) are all you need to create the perfect lemonade. I just start squeezing lemons, add water and adjust with more lemon, water or sweetness, depending on what is required. Having said that, I do have a recipe for Basil Lemonade here which is absolutely delicious and would be perfect with these humongous lemons.
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One sip of my fresh lemonade took me away for a moment. The freshness and tang was one of pure delight. A small moment for sure, but one that made me remember the importance of enjoying the little things, the small moments, the pure sweetness of something you’ve created that brings a tiny bit of sunshine to your glass in a time when the world seems so crazy.
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Sending love and light to all of you, and of course . . . some lemony sweetness.

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